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Krishnakriti Fest A cultural jamboree

Krishnakriti Fest A cultural jamboree
Highlights

The 11th Krishnakriti Annual Festival of Art & Culture concluded in the city after five days of exploration into fields that included theatre, music and literature. Classical dancers Pt Birju Maharaj and Mallika Sarabhai performed at the January 7-11 extravaganza along with their troupe, while half-a-dozen documentaries threw light at ethnic as well as experimental artforms.

The 11th Krishnakriti Annual Festival of Art & Culture concluded in the city after five days of exploration into fields that included theatre, music and literature. Classical dancers Pt Birju Maharaj and Mallika Sarabhai performed at the January 7-11 extravaganza along with their troupe, while half-a-dozen documentaries threw light at ethnic as well as experimental artforms. Lectures by experts covered subjects like contemporary art in Pakistan to geographically closer topics such as new-age use of Telangana paintings.

Prshant Lahoti, who heads the Krishnakriti Foundation which organised the festival, pointed out that a camp of 15 artists at his Kalakriti gallery brought out works that would be put up for auction this spring. “The proceeds from it would go for charity, as we would be sponsoring higher studies for young artists who are in need of money,” he informed.

The Decentralised Cotton Yarn Trust, a voluntary organisation that functions to resolve crucial issues faced by the handloom industry, was given away the 2014 Kalakriti Award for Achievement and Excellence. The inaugural function was followed with talks by art historian R Siva Kumar who said Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore had, almost a century before globalisation became a vital feature of India economy, sensed the prospect of the world coming together and paid attention to the issues involved in it.

A Bharatanatyam group performance by Ahmedabad-based Mallika Sarabhai on day two enthralled the crowd at Shilpa Kala Vedika with Sampradaya Bhajana of Tamil Nadu and the state’s classical dance. Next day, the venue saw Kathak doyen Pt Birju Maharaj perform along with his disciple Saswati Sen and a team of dancers and musicians.

In his lecture at LV Prasad Eye Institute, renowned poet Ashok Vajpeyi hailed nonagenarian SH Raza’s works as a celebration of life that evolved from an artist with faith in multiple religions, lending his paintings the tranquility of a silent prayer. Young scholar Nirmala Biluka said the history and features of the indigenous visual art of Telangana merit deeper studies now that the region has become a state with an entity separate from Andhra.

On day three, UK-based author-scholar gave an overview of modern art in India in the 25 years preceding the country’s Independence, noting that Bengali icon Jamini Roy occupies a preeminent place in that vast canvas. An evening later, Delhi-based Arpana Caur took the gathering down memory lane of her 50 years of painting, while the final day saw Lahore-based scholar Naazish Ala-ullah speaking about the positivity in the contemporary art scene of her native Pakistan.

The final day also witnessed the opening of three exhibitions — all by French artist B2Fays, who uses new technologies and traditional art. ‘Nomads of Memories’ (paintings) at Kalakriti gallery and an interactive media installation at Alliance Francaise, both of which will end on January 21, and another show at Goethe Zentrum, which will conclude on January 19.

Ruchika Negi’s 52-minute work essayed the changing status of an ethnic shawl typical of a Naga community of the north-east, while the next evening’s film by Merajur Rehman Baruah portrayed the new-age mobile theatres of Assam.

Saba Dewan’s ‘The Other Song’ and Justin McCarthy’s ‘Oh Friend, This Waiting’ dealt with certain social contexts of a music stream in the Hindustani and Carnatic idioms. Hyderabadi culture also took its share through films on the city’s famed Surabhi theatre and effervescent Dakhani-language soirees.

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